Safe Mechanical BullYears ago, when people heard anyone mention a mechanical bull, they immediately thought of the old style hydraulic bulls surrounded by a bed of hay.  Things have come a long way since then!  Now days the new multi ride mechanical bulls are built with safety in mind.  And when operated correctly, a mechanical bull is one of the best amusement attractions at virtually any type of event.

As in most cases, just simply skipping a  safety step causes many accidents;

1)   Letting someone ride who the operator suspects might have been drinking

2)   Following the crowds wish to spin someone faster and faster

3)   Letting two people ride the bull together

4)   Letting a friend operate the bull while they run to the restroom

5)   Playing to the “crowd” as opposed to watching the rider

More than likely every company has had at least one of these issues.  Hopefully it didn’t cause a problem.  But training is the answer to any safety related issues on the mechanical bull.

A good manufacturer will supply training information with the sale of their mechanical bull.  Galaxy Multi Rides offers a training manual and they are also putting together an in house training program for their buyers.

However, a new buyer doesn’t always pass the information correctly onto their operator employees.  Some things that most of us consider to be common sense really need to be highlighted in order to prevent accidents.

You would assume that refusing to let an intoxicated person ride would be easy.  But what if the rider states they haven’t been drinking?  Or their last drink was hours ago.  If the operator is younger and the rider is much older it can be tough to argue with them.  The simplest way to handle this is to teach the operators that they can refuse anyone a ride if they think they can be impaired in anyway.  Signage will always help this issue if it comes up.  Of course, there will be people who will try to argue the point anyway.  A mechanical bull owner needs to make sure their operators have full support when they refuse someone a ride for the rider’s safety.

A few years ago we heard report of an accident when a child was hurt on a mechanical bull.  Not serious but she bumped her chin.  This happened because the girl was a gymnast and could stay on the bull forever it seemed.  (7-8 year old gymnasts have staying power that you wouldn’t believe).  The grandparents were cheering her on and telling the operator increase the speed of the bull.  At their request, that’s exactly what the operator did.  However, when she did fall, she flew over the bull’s head and really bumped her chin.  This wasn’t tragic, but it just shows what can happen when a smart operator listens to the crowd.  Young kids can certainly ride the bull, and they can do it well.  However, if the bull is moving quickly they generally won’t fall to the side like adults do, but they will fly over the bull’s head.  A top speed for children should be set ahead of the time by the bull owner to prevent this from happening.

And operators should know in advance that for NO reason should a parent and child be allowed to ride together.  This comes up at least once at every event where children want to ride but are afraid to try it by themselves.

It just has to be stressed again and again to the operator that NO ONE is allowed to operate the bull except the trained operator.  The best way to handle this is to make sure the operator always takes the key if they need to take a break.  It’s amazing how many people will try to give a friend a short ride if they think they can get away from it.

Make sure your operator understands the parameters of safety.  The operator should always call the shots…NOT the crowd.  Trying to please the crowd is one of the easiest ways to have an accident.

These are just a few of the unforeseen ways that can cause a problem while running your mechanical bull business.  Most operators understand the big stuff;

  • Making sure the auto stop is hooked up correctly
  • Making sure signage is proper
  • Making sure the inflatable is inflated and blowers correctly running
  • And making sure their operator has some training

But owners down always realize the power of the crowd.  Please make sure your operators are strong-willed and won’t be driven to follow the crowd’s desire.  The bull should ALWAYS be operated with safety in mind first, then the enjoyment of the crowd.  Following these simple steps can make your bull business not only fun but very successful.

For more information on operating the safest mechanical bull, check out